Hey look! McFarlane made a Batman figure! Can you believe it? Sure you can, because the DC Multiverse line has been focused on Batman since the beginning, and while I think it’s gotten better at diversifying, it’s hard to collect this line without getting a bunch of The Batmans. Today I’m checking out the Dark Knight as he appeared in the book Dark Knights Death Metal from a couple years back, along with his rather unique looking Batcycle. I haven’t read the book, but I may remedy that some day. Oddly enough, I picked up the Batcycle last year before I even started collecting DC Multiverse, because it was down to $9 and I gave it to some of my Mythic Legions vampires to ride. But when I started collecting Multiverse, I decided to pick up Death Metal Batman to go with it. Let’s start with the figure!
As always the packaging is clean and simple, giving you a good look at the figure inside. The source that the figure is based on is printed on the side of the box, and I do wish they would list it down at the bottom too, rather than just say Batman, because there’s too many Batmans!!! There’s a simple figure stand and a collector card, but those are staying put for now, because you have to tear the bubble off the backing to get at them.
The grimdark filter of the Death Metal concept doesn’t really work for me with all the DC characters, but it sure does work for Batman here. The design is like something an angst-ridden 14yo would doodle on their Trapper Keeper while bored out of their mind in Sociology. And I mean that as a compliment in every possible sense, and McFarlane did an amazing job with the detail on this figure. The gray body suit with bold bat symbol is about the only thing standard here, while every thing else on the figure is badassery amped up to 11. And everyone knows the Badassery Scale only goes up to 10. There’s a trench coat has studded shoulders and heavy straps with silver painted buckles running down the front. It’s split down the middle in the back, most likely to help him mount his Batcycle. I dig how the back of the shoulders sort of forms another bat symbol, but not quite. The black boots are just rows of straps with bat-shaped knee guards. His arm bracers are silver with some gnarly looking spikes, and he even has studs on the knuckles of his black gloves. The belt has a silver bat symbol for a buckle and silver skulls with chains hanging down. Everything in the sculpted detail here is just beyond impressive.
The head sculpt is on point with the lower half of the exposed face forged into a scowl, which is conveyed mostly in the facial creases that frame the straight, horizontal slit of a mouth. I like the iron jaw and the wrinkle in the nose that carries through the mask. The ears are reduced to tiny bumps and the eye mask forms some harsh downturned brows of disapproval. I’ve been a bit critical of some of the McFarlane Batman portraits for being a tad soft, but this one is absolutely great.
Articulation is right in line with the DC Multiverse standards. Eventually I will stop running through the points, because it just gets redundant, but let’s do it here anyway. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, with double-hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed in the hips, with rotating hinges in the ankles, and double-hinged knees. There’s a ball joint under the chest and another in the neck. Everything here is serviceable and with the cut in the back of the coat, it doesn’t hinder the range of movement at all. The hands are designed to hold his accessory, as well as the handlebars of the Batcycle, but they can work as fists given the right perspective. The gray hinges between the black knee guards and boots is a bit distracting, but it ain’t terrible.
The accessory I mentioned is a giant scythe and it sure adds a lot of menace to the figure when on display. The contoured staff is sculpted to look like it’s wrapped from top to bottom in brown leather strips, which offers a lot of detail to what could otherwise just have been a brown stick. The blade is black with silver edges and forms what looks like a single batwing, or half of a bat insignia. Let’s check out the Batcycle!
The bike comes in an elongated box with a window to show off the goods. The styling is similar to the figure packaging with the outside being black and a blue background inside. You even get a collector card with the vehicle, which is pretty cool, but again it’s staying secured in the package for now.
And wow is this thing absolutely ridiculous and cool at the same time! It’s like someone took a motorcycle and grafted a giant bat skeleton onto it. The head forms the front, with the open jaw framing the back half of the front wheel. The ribcage wraps around the gas tank and the front of the engine, while there’s a little more bone sculpted behind the seat and over the back wheel. The bone is conveyed both in the sculpt and the superb paintwork and it looks pretty damn convincing to me. There’s an almost hypnotic swirl sculpted into the ears and the eyes are just creepy milky yellow orbs. There’s a wonderful contrast between the bright off-white of the bone and the dingy gray and black of the rest of the bike. You get some amazing detail in the engine and the tires too. I love the bat symbol inside the front tire, and how fat the back tire is. Wow, this thing looks cool. It’s like something that would be painted on the cover of a Meat Loaf album!
Thanks to that split in the trench coat, Batman can mount the bike perfectly. His hands form a good grip on the handlebars and his feat can rest on the pedals below. The exhaust pipes on the bike do reach the ground, so there’s no need for a kickstand to keep this thing vertical.
After having the Batcycle kicking around my collection for almost a year, I’m happy to have finally united it with its proper driver. McFarlane has been killing it with these small vehicles, offering them up at around $22-25, I think they’re some of the best values on the toy shelves. Even more so, considering I picked up mine for $9. The figure was actually $28, which is by far the most I’ve paid for a DC Multiverse figure. I think he’s been off the shelves for a while, which is why I had to pay a little extra. Still, I think it was worth it. Despite not having any real ties to the comic source material, I am thrilled to have this figure and bike displayed on my shelf! I don’t know if I’ll go for any of the other Death Metal figures, but I do have a certain giant Death Metal Batman Monster Truck on the way!